The Boy, the Girl & the Dolphin
The Dolphin Bar & Restaurant in Newquay stood forlorn and neglected, but former head chef, Dan Bailey, and restaurant manager, Rebecca Hawkins knew, as soon as they walked round, that with some hard work and a few small repairs, it would be perfect! But there was a problem. Dan was struggling to get financing, despite having no previous problems with credit. Being 35 meant he also wasn’t eligible for a Start Up loan which has a cut off age limit of 30, either.
Despite this, they never gave up. “As soon as we made the decision to have our own place 4 years ago, everything became about working toward this point,” said Dan, “but I honestly thought, at the time, there was no one going to loan to me at all”.
But after more research, Rebecca found Fredericks Foundation, and they began the process of applying.
“It was actually really straight forward. We’d seen one bank manager who hadn’t even looked at the business plan which knocked our confidence a bit. So it was great to deal with people that knew our business plans and motivations, almost as well as we did, and who believed and understood in what we were trying to achieve. We got sound advice, and a lot of support.”
Now up and running, within a few short months, they’ve developed a loyal ‘locals’ customer base, as well as being extremely popular with holiday makers and day-visitors looking for food and service that is more than ‘gastro pubbing’, but without the stiffness, and cost of fine dining. Rebecca sums up how they’re different by saying “we source the best, local ingredients and if they go down in price, the menu price gets reduced as well, because we want to be proud of what we do – it’s food with integrity and provenance. We also invest in our staff, who we’re really proud of, and which we think, reflects in the service. That’s really important to us.”
“When people tell us they have eaten with us for most of the holiday, even though they intended to try different places, you know you’re doing something right,” offers Dan.
With dolphins occasionally spotted off the beach, it seems there’s one worth spotting on Fore Street now, as well…
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